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What it took to be crowned the first ever Miss Juneteenth KC

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Markeda Peterson
Ameera Murphy, winner of the First Annual Miss Juneteenth KC Pageant

JuneteenthKC celebrated more than 18 young women for the first annual Becoming Miss JuneteenthKC Pageant program.

Sunday is Juneteenth, a national holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Africans in America in 1865, and more broadly, the heritage and culture of African Americans today.

In Kansas City, JuneteenthKC celebrations have been going on all month and culminate this weekend with a heritage festival at 18th and Vine. Before all of these activities, however, the city's first Miss Juneteenth KC was crowned in a pageant last month.

Winning the competition was 13-year-old Ameera Murphy, who describes the moment as "breathtaking."

Markeda Paeterson, program director for JuneteenthKC, says this it's an opportunity for young women not just to compete but also to learn and grow.

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As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.